Instead of relying on overly simple solutions, Chicago’s land bank will use big data to target vacant homes

As Cincinnatians have seen with Hamilton County’s demolition program, funded through state foreclosure funds, it can be difficult to properly implement a program of that nature. Simply tearing down properties seems to be too heavy-handed, but more nuanced solutions can be more costly. In Chicago a slightly different approach is being taken. More from NextCity:

How can cities unload the properties they hold, and facilitate the transfer of empty properties held privately, to owners that can use them? In the age of Big Data, these decisions are becoming less complicated. Last month, fellows with the University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good began working with the Chicago area’s newly born Cook County Land Bank Authority. The aim is to create a tool that will make it easier to process data on foreclosures, real estate trends and the like to determine which properties are the best candidates for redevelopment. Think of it as a data-backed triage unit for vacant land.

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  • charles ross

    It’s great for Cities to get best practices from each other – I hope cincy can make use of good tools like this.
    Land banks and demolition lists are the end game for failed properties – what about the earlier phase of their death-spiral – the time when the property is paid for but the owner is letting it decline? This period can go on for decades of course – trafficking in ugly houses and tenements is a trade. Precedents were set with the redlining and “block-busting” of the mid century. I hope that’s not off-topic.

    Somehow it seems that any attempt at early civic intervention (VBML) is politicized and portrayed as big nanny-brother, made toothless, and the owners who have dragged down Avondale, Price Hill, OTR and the lot are depicted as “investors” and “entrepeneurs” whose rights are held higher than the rights of the residents of the neighborhoods that bear the scars. The neighborhoods that these owners never happen to live in.